Have You Received the Holy Ghost?
Scripture Reading: Acts 19: 1-22
Text: Acts 19: 2.
Pentecost Sunday is a day set aside to commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (HS) on the disciples who waited ten day after Jesus ascension, for the promised Comforter and his power to function. In Luke 24 verse 49, Jesus told his Disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until they receive the power- (Luke 24: 49; Acts 1: 4; and John 14: 16). On that eventful day about 33 AD, the HS was released up on all flesh as prophesied by Prophet Joel in Joel 2: 28.
The outpouring of the HS on the disciples and on about the three thousand men on the day of Pentecost was a significant event that heralded the beginning of the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nooks and crannies of the world beginning from Jerusalem into the Gentile’s nations (Act 2: 1-13, 38-41). The power of the HS was so great in manifestation to the extent that not even the intense persecution of the Apostles and the other Disciples could stop the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The baptism in the Holy Ghost (HG) or the receipt of him initiates every believer into the family of God (1 Cor. 12: 13), and empowers such a person to function in accordance to the will and purpose of God. Therefore, the question – have you received the HG? in Acts 19: 2; will appear to be awake up call to Christian to desire the baptism and the receipt of the power of the HS to function in the vineyard of God.
The receipt of the HS often changes the perception equation and the attitude of every person so baptized in the things of God, especially in spreading the Gospel. In Acts 2: 1-12 and 41, the people who waited for ten days for the power of HS and those who gathered with the disciples including those who initially mocked at the signs and manifestation of HS had their orientation and perception changed as they received the HS. It is recorded in verse 41 that about 3,000 souls got converted and were added to the family of God. Equally, the twelve men that received the power of the HS through Paul’s hand were enabled to function, speaking in tongues and prophesying, and were able thereafter to spread the good news from Ephesus to all Asia (Acts 19: 6-10). It is important that every believer should desire and seek for the power of the HS in his or her life. This process begins with acknowledging our inadequacies and seeking to be restored unto the joy of salvation (Psalm 51: 1-12), joy being the first evidence of the receipt of the HS.
The indwelling of the HS is supposed to enable a person to adopt Godly character to help him or her to focus on the purpose of God. However, as Paul noticed among the Ephesians, most Christians today are satisfied with the nomenclature Christian, and do not want to do anything further. We should remember that the gifts of the spirit are for the benefit of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12: 7). Indeed, some Christians today do turn against the working of the HS and sometimes rebelled against him (Psalm 63: 10), with dare consequences. In 1 Thessalonians 4: 8-10, we are warned that those that despised the things of God, despised God and the HS, which God has given to us, which ought to humble us and enable us to love one another. Of course, love is the second evidence of the baptism in the HS, just like was exhibited among the 1st century believers from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2: 44-47), that they were in one accord, having fellowship and sharing things in common, and God continue to add to the church daily those that should be saved.
In conclusion, the receipt of the HS enables a believer to realize his or her full potentials in the purpose of God. Such a Christian must exhibit at all times the joy of salvation and eager to love God and fellow man. He or she is always motivated by the spirit to humble self in service and be willing to make sacrifices and to witness for the kingdom of God (Acts 20: 23-28). Such a person refuses to care for his or her life but totally commit his or her life to the kingdom project. When Paul asked the Ephesians if they have received the HG since they believed (Act 19: 2), it was because the characteristics and the attributes of a spirit-filled believer were lacking in them. The joy of salvation could not be found in them and their love for one another was waxing cold. Brethren, as a spirit-filled believer, we must shine for the kingdom of God and be mindful of the things of God. By so doing, no one will need to require of us if we have received the HG since we believed. May God enable us to imbibe spiritual virtue in his service, Amen.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your word sown into our soul. Enable us to desire the baptism of the HS, bear fruits of the spirit and be empowered to render service for the growth and prosperity of your kingdom with enable grace and blessings. Amen.